TUCSON, Ariz. — The Southern Poverty Law Center said the leader of the anti-immigration group Border Guardians has secretly urged the nation's largest neo-Nazi group of white supremacists to launch a campaign of violence against undocumented workers.
The Southern Poverty Law Center released the Intelligence Report on hate groups, which states that Laine Lawless of the Border Guardians has called for violence against undocumented workers.
Lawless sent an e-mail dated April 3, to Mark Martin, SS commander of the Western Ohio unit of the National Socialist Movement, according to Susy Buchanan and David Holthouse of the Intelligence Report. Lawless' e-mail was titled, ''How to GET RID OF THEM!''
''Maybe some of your warriors for the race would be the kind of people willing to implement some of these ideas,'' Lawless said.
'Beating up illegals'
Lawless, an original member of Chris Simcox's vigilante militia before it became the Minuteman Project in early 2005, detailed 11 suggestions for ways to harass and terrorize undocumented immigrants, including robbery and ''beating up illegals'' as they leave their work place, the report states. Martin, following Lawless' suggestions, posted her e-mail to a number of neo-Nazi bulletin boards.
Lawless suggested stealing money from any undocumented worker walking into a bank or check-cashing location. "Make every illegal alien feel the heat of being a person without status ... I hear the rednecks in the South are beating up illegals as the textile mills have closed. Use your imagination,'' Lawless wrote.
Lawless also said, ''Discourage Spanish-speaking children from going to school. Be creative.'' She also encouraged threatening migrants with being shot. ''Create an anonymous propaganda campaign warning that any further illegal immigrants will be shot, maimed or seriously messed-up upon crossing the border. This should be fairly easy to do, considering the hysteria of the Spanish language press, and how they view the Minutemen as 'racists and vigilantes.''
In the e-mail, Lawless urged, ''Sabotage the things they like: entertainment, food, beer ... BRAVO to the person who cut down the Spanish-language radio station towers just north of Phoenix! Now that sends a message!''
The Intelligence Report contacted Lawless for comment, sending her copies of her own e-mails that included their original headers, as she requested. But after receiving the copies, Lawless refused to talk. Lawless has been heavily involved in anti-immigration extremism in the United States since 2004.
On April 9, six days after Lawless e-mailed her suggestions to Mark Martin, Border Guardians burned a Mexican flag in front of the Mexican Consulate in Tucson, where Lawless' group is based.
Minutemen, neo-Nazi overlap?
The following day, Lawless accompanied Border Guardians Russ Dove and Roy Warden to Armory Park during the ''national day of action for immigration justice'' March in Tucson, where the two men burned Mexican flags. Indian Country Today and other media photographed Lawless with the Border Guardians who burned the flags.
The Intelligence Report said the recent e-mail contact is not the first evidence to emerge of the overlapping of Minuteman and neo-Nazi membership. A few members of the National Alliance and Aryan Nations signed up with the original Minuteman Project in April 2005, and at least two frequent contributors to the white supremacist Web site stormfront.org volunteered for Minuteman co-founder Jim Gilchrist's failed congressional campaign.
Like Lawless, Martin would not comment for this story. But he did offer this tagline when he forwarded Lawless' suggested tactics to other neo-Nazis: ''The information contained in this email is racially and religiously privileged and confidential. It is intended for specific Aryan recipients only.''
Jose Matus, Yaqui ceremonial leader and director of the human rights group Indigenous Alliance Without Borders, based in Tucson, pointed out that indigenous people who live along the border - from California to Texas - and others migrating for work from Central and South America are victims of the growing racism by members of the Minutemen and Border Guardians.
Matus compared the Border Guardians to the Ku Klux Klan. ''Border Guardians are like the Ku Klux Klan, only not as ambitious,'' Matus told ICT.
The Intelligence Report also showed a rise in hate crimes, including hate crimes by skinheads toward Latinos in Phoenix. The report includes a national map of organized chapters of hate groups.
In southern Arizona, where Border Guardians have promised to burn Mexican flags whenever pro-migrant groups gather, the map identifies such groups as the Ku Klux Klan in Mesa and neo-Nazi groups in several towns. The map also identifies the American Border Patrol in Sierra Vista.
Meanwhile, the Minutemen issued a public statement that they do not support the Border Guardians' burning of the Mexican flag or violence. The Minutemen are now planning to protest President Bush.
Upset that Bush called the Minutemen ''vigilantes,'' the Minutemen plan to protest at Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, during a caravan to Washington.
The Texas Minutemen and the Latino Americans for Immigration Reform have organized a protest set for May 6 at Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, according to the protest Web site.
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